Sisters allege sect involved in immigration fraud in NZ

3 News, New Zealand/July 31, 2008

Three sisters from India who live in New Zealand are reportedly seeking a judicial order in Australia's High Court to address the alleged involvement of the Exclusive Brethren in a variety of crimes, including immigration fraud in New Zealand.

But the religious group today said there was no basis to the allegations, which have not yet been detailed publicly.

The sisters say they are on the run from the sect, and claim they can link it to numerous crimes, AAP reported.

It expected a "writ of mandamus" - asking a judge to order action by public officials - to be filed in the High Court at Canberra.

"We've got 3000 pages of evidence - and now we're going to expose this whole thing," one of the sisters said.

They also allege the Exclusive Brethren is involved in money laundering, and bribery of police and members of the judiciary in India.

They said they feared for their lives and did not wish to be identified until after the legal action was taken.

Exclusive Brethren leaders tonight said they understood the writ the sisters initially attempted to file was not in the correct legal form to properly invoke the jurisdiction of the High Court.

In the meantime, they denied the allegations.

"There is not the slightest vestige of truth in the claims made by the sisters, who reside in New Zealand," the statement said.

The brethren said it held the deepest respect for the law and taught obedience to the law and integrity in personal and business matters.

A spokesman for the immigration service of the Department of Labour in New Zealand said it was not in a position to comment while a court hearing was under way.

"There are no specific allegations at this stage. We will investigate any allegations once the details are made known to us," said a spokesman.

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